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Old 03-07-2009, 02:06 PM   #1
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Default Happiness is: Home malting

OK fellows, I'm in day 6 of my home malting project and finally I've started the drying process. Here is a pic of the fully modified barley, I started on March 1, this pic was taken at appx. 04:00 this morning (3-7-09). I started with 50lbs of raw seed barley from the local elevator (verified no treatment added, just cleaned raw barley) unknown yet if it is 2 row or 6 row, the elevator dude didn't know either. I neglected to get all the pictures transferred to a disk and I'm at work now so I'll be posting alot more pics of equipment and descriptions of the process later, maybe tomorrow, if anyone is interested.

Here is a pic of the malting/couching floor: 2x4 frame sandwiched by concrete tile board (3'x5').


And the oasting hoards that go in the dryer: Aluminum screen.

This is a long way from success as the malt is not dried yet and I have not tested it yet of course.
I plan to do test batches with this malt and 2row rahr with back to back runs with no other ingredients (except same water and hops) and as close to identical circumstances as I can get (mash temp, sparge temp, etc) to see what SG the new malt makes as compared to the 2row rahr.
Vern.

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Old 03-07-2009, 02:53 PM   #2
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I just finished malting 4 lbs of quinoa and 4 lbs of amaranth to be used with a gluten free beer. I like your floor set up. Obviously I was using a lot less grain, and was able to get away with cookie sheets and drying in dehydrators, but if I'm able to get this stuff to self convert, I'll be looking for ways to step up production. I'd like to limit the amount of times I have to get up at 3AM to attend to grain.

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Old 03-07-2009, 03:37 PM   #3
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I just finished malting 4 lbs of quinoa and 4 lbs of amaranth to be used with a gluten free beer. I like your floor set up. Obviously I was using a lot less grain, and was able to get away with cookie sheets and drying in dehydrators, but if I'm able to get this stuff to self convert, I'll be looking for ways to step up production. I'd like to limit the amount of times I have to get up at 3AM to attend to grain.
I know what you mean, the seeds have their own timeline, I had to get up at 4 this morning because of work today. Luckily I was off the past 8 days and the weather was almost perfect for the steeping/couching phase (appx. 40F-50F at night). It's snowing here now however, hopefully my kiln is working.
Vern.
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:25 PM   #4
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that is some serious DIY.

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Old 03-07-2009, 08:46 PM   #5
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:33 PM   #6
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that is some serious DIY.
I don't typically like to do things real small to test them, I think the process is more consistent the bigger you go and conditions are easier to repeat. With all the work that goes into malting I decided to go big enough to make it worth while and make everything so that I can re-use it. Right now I am having problems with the kiln heater "going out" (reported by the helpers as I am at work)it is this:

A Mr. heater type space heater ducted to the bottom of the "kiln", I'm not sure what the problem is yet, might be overheat protection, might be a thermocouple problem but the heater is new, I'll look at it after work.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:23 PM   #7
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OK fellows, here are some more pics & info, I wanted to add it to the beginning post but it didn't let me.
The equipment I started with are shown here.

Two large plastic feed buckets, one with 1/16" holes (for draining) nested in the other for soaking. Next time I will add a drain valve in the outer bucket as this gets very heavy and cumbersome. I don't know what size but I could probably double the batch and soak 100lbs at a time. I have 4 more 50lb sacks of the barley @8$ each.

Here is a pic of the first soak, which actually turned out to be an hour long rinse/soak since it took that long to clean out the dirt, bits of chaff, weed seeds, unviable barley and other foreign seeds, i.e. oats etc.

I simply left the hose in and ran the chaff etc out the top of the bucket (actually the crack in the side), all the good barley sinks. Not too bad, I probably ended up with about a pound of trash coming out of the barley.
Here's a pic after 1hr, all clean and ready to soak.

The water temperature was around 40F. The schedule I used was 2hr soak then drained for 8 hrs, next time I will use a longer soak to see if it expedites the sprouting any. I've seen schedules for soaking the seeds as long as 16 hrs before draining. I don't think it matters much as long as the seeds get oxygen, they will drown if left in un-aerated water too long, you could also use a aquarium type air pump. You also do not want the seeds to dry out, you're trying to sprout them.

Here's a picture of the grain in the draining bucket after drained the first time (just for comparison later)

The grain itself brought the temp up to 52F, also that is about what the ambient temperature was, perfect for malting barley, if it's too hot it will bolt (Grow too fast).
More on next reply, Vern.

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Old 03-08-2009, 12:43 PM   #8
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OK fast forward to 03-03, 2days later we have chits(rootlets) starting to peak out the rear end of the barley seeds.

I stopped the soak/drain cycle after two cycles and simply filled with water and drained imediately, also you need to keep the grain moving from beginning to end of the modification process to aerate and keep the temperature even throughout while keeping it evenly moist. The better you do this the more even the modification will turn out.

Here is a pic of the chits the next day 03-04.

Growing right along, it's time to transfer to the "malting floor" to make things a bit easier and more consistent temps etc.

So in the meantime I built the floor out of 2x4 frame and cement board screwed to the bottom. Then dumped the barley in.

And here is a pic of the 1st "couching" of the barley/malt. Compare this to the almost full floor after modification is complete (At beginning of post). Schedule now is to sprinkle with water, turn the seeds, make sure to move the seeds from the outside to the middle etc, every 4 hrs, or so, again the better you do this the more evenly the barley will grow, making the modification more consistent throughout.

I also placed another cement board (These are 3'x5' from any home outlet store) on the top to keep out dust, rodents/critters, bugs, etc, especially since the other end of the shop is completely open (No funds for big door) and the wind was howling at the time.
More on next reply, Vern

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Old 03-08-2009, 12:47 PM   #9
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I started with 50lbs of raw seed barley from the local elevator
So this barley they sell to farmers to grow more barley? Or barley used for animal feed?

Interesting project BTW.
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:10 PM   #10
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Here's a picture of the malt at the end of the day 03-04.

This is where I start fighting the patience battle as the roots are growing right along, so to ease my pain I go and re-read about the process of modification, I remember seeing a cutaway picture somewhere of a fully modified malt showing where the acrospire(leaf inside the grain) needs to be for it to be FULLY modified. . . where was that picture . . . OH YEAH, OF COURSE, in palmers book.

Here is a pic of the next day 03-05 while turning, the acrospire inside at this point is only a little less than half way the length of the seed. I disected some and took a picture but I haven't figured out the macro (or lack thereof) of my bloody digital camera.


And the next day 03-06, the acrospire is a little more than half way.

At this point I estimated there were 20% of seeds with 3/4 length acrospire which is considered fully modified, but 20% is not enough.

And finally here's the pic of the malt when fully modified. It seems the rootlets really slowed down at this point and the acrospires took over as some of the roots were still only about 2 times the length of the seed but the acrospire in 98% of the malts I tested were 100%+ the length of the seed.



Time for the next phase, drying /kilning in the next reply.

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